STEAKHOUSE CUP: Border drives steak through the heart

REP HONOURS: Back row: Andrew Nixon (Albury) Vic U15; Dylan Martin (Wagga) NSW U18, Fraser Cullen (Wodonga) Vic U18, Ben Hooppell (Albury) Vic U21, Maddi Creamer (Corowa) Vic U15, Macey Sutherland (Wodonga) Vic U15, Brittany Rosewarne (Corowa) ACT U15, Eryn Norie (Albury) Vic U15. Front Row: Taylor Baker (Corowa) Vic U15, Cassie Lee (Albury) ACT U21, Emerald Beath (Albury) Vic U15, Emma Hooppell (Albury) Vic U15, Sara Lumby (Corowa) ACT U15, Imogen Albon (Wodonga) Vic U15, Grace Ronnfeldt (Corowa) ACT U15. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

REP HONOURS: Back row: Andrew Nixon (Albury) Vic U15; Dylan Martin (Wagga) NSW U18, Fraser Cullen (Wodonga) Vic U18, Ben Hooppell (Albury) Vic U21, Maddi Creamer (Corowa) Vic U15, Macey Sutherland (Wodonga) Vic U15, Brittany Rosewarne (Corowa) ACT U15, Eryn Norie (Albury) Vic U15. Front Row: Taylor Baker (Corowa) Vic U15, Cassie Lee (Albury) ACT U21, Emerald Beath (Albury) Vic U15, Emma Hooppell (Albury) Vic U15, Sara Lumby (Corowa) ACT U15, Imogen Albon (Wodonga) Vic U15, Grace Ronnfeldt (Corowa) ACT U15. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

ALBURY-Wodonga again flexed its hockey muscles, dominating Sunday’s annual clash against representative teams from Wagga.

The Striker and Spitfires won eight out of the 10 games in the various age divisions, with the only losses coming in the senior men and under-15 boys.

It was the 11th consecutive year Hockey Albury-Wodonga took home the Steakhouse Cup.

But rep hockey director Julie Versteegen said it hadn’t always been the case.

“Twenty years ago it was Wagga that took home the trophy year after year,” she said.

“But there is no questioning the depth of talent in hockey on the Border.

“We have any number of juniors playing representative hockey at state level for NSW, Victoria and ACT.

“It is one of the advantages of straddling the Border and now playing in the Capital League.

“But we suspect we could have even more kids playing rep hockey if it wasn’t for the distance and cost involved — representing Victoria means training Wednesday night and Sunday morning for up to six weeks, NSW has a camp and we are not yet up to speed on the demands for the ACT.”

Versteegen said the inclusion of teenagers in the Spitfires and Strikers squads also accelerated their development.

“If they are going to play rep hockey they need to play at this level,” she said.

“To be able to play in the State League last year and now the Capital League is a great experience.”

Versteegen said Hockey Albury Wodonga was blessed with a golden generation of girls.

“We have a group in the under-17s who have won the past two Victorian titles, which is incredible in itself,” she said.

“But hot on their heels are the under-15 girls, who are also taking all before them.

“Every so often you get a squad like that under-17 group, but to have another batch hot on their heels is very rare.

“At the moment it is the girls who are strong but these things run in phases and it is more than likely it will be the boys next.”

Six representative teams from Hockey Albury Wodonga will travel to the Victorian Country Championships in Melbourne on the weekend of May 24-25.

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